Curious about Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung)?

How and why they work?
Tai Chi & Qigong are ancient mind/body cleansing exercises designed to process the stress loads we accumulate each day, so that we can release them to enable the mind and body to operate in its highest mode of efficiency and health.
Tai Chi & Qigong combine deep breathing techniques, gentle body movement, and visualization techniques. When combined, they provide the metaphoric equivalent of running your central nervous system through a car wash. The gripping, clutching mind and body you start with on one end of your Tai Chi exercise, is left behind as you exit this mind/body cleansing with a fresh, more sparkly and clear perspective of life.
Let's examine the three main elements of Tai Chi, in a more detailed way, through the following free tutorials you can enjoy on the internet right now, before, then beginning a class in your area. (See top of menu on right for "Find Local Classes") Or if you don't have access to classes in your area, or your schedule won't permit, try the world acclaimed DVDs from our Official Sponsor in the menu to your right.
How Do Tai Chi and Qigong Help Heal or Prevent Illness According to TCM Theory?
Breathing
Tai Chi is a form of Qigong (Chi Kung), which means breathing exercise, or energy exercise. Ancient Chinese researchers found that when we get stressed we constrict our breathing.
In fact, our natural response to stress is to hold our breath. Part of this is inherited from our pre-historic ancestors who would "freeze up," hoping a lion or tiger looking for lunch would not notice them.
However, our modern world stress is not fooled when we tighten and hold our breath. All that habit does now, is lock up the stress deeply into the fifty-trillion cells of our body, which . . . yes, that's right . . . waits until we try to go to sleep at night to evaporate through our tired mind.
So, by learning to breathe fully, even when stressed, is a powerful response to modern stress. That is what Qigong is designed to teach us. You can now enjoy the below video entitled Qigong Breathing - Video Tutorial, which is a free tutorial, provided by World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, a worldwide health education effort that provides free resources to a stressed out world.
VISUALIZATION
Once you experience the above "breathing tutorial," and learn to practice full diaphragmatic breaths that can allow your entire torso to begin to unlock its grip on itself, you'll now be better equipped to enjoy a deeper visualization experience. This 17 minute experience below will allow you to go a bit deeper, and enable your mind, body, and heart or emotional awareness to begin to release and un-load your accumulated stress loads at even deeper levels.
When you begin this process, your mind may spin with thoughts such as, "I don't have time for this," or it may come up with a hundred other things you should be doing instead. Realize this. If you don't process your stress loads now, you'll be doing it when you lay down to go to sleep. Investing 17 minutes a couple of times per day, may help gain you many hours of restful sleep in coming days and weeks. Now, you can sit back, close your eyes, relax, and enjoy this below 17 minute exercise. Breathe, relax, enjoy. View Video
GENTLE MOVEMENT:
The third aspect of Tai Chi, and other moving Qigong exercises, beyond breathing and visualization techniques, is the gentle movement series. Gentle movement massages the body, as we breathe and let go of old rigidity we feel as we move. However, Tai Chi has a regimen or repertoire of movements that are always the same, like a dance move. The purpose of this is to engage the mind, so that it cannot run off and worry about the fears and stresses of the day.
When you do purely physical exercise like the stationary bike or the treadmill, etc. the mind often isn't "here and now" with you. In fact, at the gym you'll see people reading or watching TV while they do it. Even runners around the track often have headsets telling them the business news, or reading books on tape, or pulsing music into their heads. This is completely different than Tai Chi, for Tai Chi is a mind/body exercise that is all encompassing.
As you flow through the Tai Chi movements you are becoming deeply aware of your breathing, and using visualization techniques with that breathing to deeply release subtle stress loads your body, heart and mind have accumulated. Would you like to experience a free Tai Chi lesson? World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's effort to distress the world, also offers a free video Tai Chi lesson on line.
View video Now that you have completed the "breathing tutorial," and the "sitting qigong relaxation therapy experience," and now a couple of "tai chi movements" on the video tutorial, you are probably feeling much better than you had in a long long while. I'd be willing to wager you are definitely feeling the best you have since the market began collapsing.
Okay, now don't stress out about that. Continue coming back to the free video tutorials on the above pages every day. Keep expanding the sensation of safety and ease those exercises provide. WorldTaiChiDay.org also provides a national and international directory of Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and schools, which is free to both you and teachers worldwide, to help connect a stressed out world with stress solutions.
Now, Tai Chi isn't a drug, and it won't make your problems go away. Our world is changing, and we may need to change too. What we will find, is what Mr. Jagger told us long ago, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try some time, well you just might find . . . you'll get what you need."
Decades ago, back when I was first learning Tai Chi in Southern California, like millions of others, I'd get stuck in the 405 freeway traffic each morning. A morning DJ would come on between songs and do what he called the morning mantra. He'd engage all of us on the freeway to join him in chanting, "EGBOK, EGBOK, EGBOK." EGBOK was the acronym for "Everything is Going to Be OK."
No one knows what America or the world will look like on the other end of this financial crisis.But one thing we should all know is that the Chinese character for "crisis" is made up of two other characters, one is "danger" and the other is "opportunity."
Our world is changing. The danger is that we will hold our collective breath, tighten our gripping fists, and resist change that is necessary for our world to evolve into its greatest mutually beneficial potential for all involved. An opportunity is we learn time tested tools to relax, and breathe, and open to change as dynamic surfers of a new world.
As far as the crisis, it always was and always will be true that . . . this too shall pass. Our only choice is, do we get beaten and victimized by the changes coming at us, or do we allow them to evolve us into something wiser and more true than we were before. 
Now, all together, take a deep breath, and when you let that breath out, let every cell in your body let go, letting your shoulders relax down and away from your neck. Two more nice full breaths, and on that sighing exhale as every cell lets go right at the deepest roots of your being, let the morning mantra flow through your lungs, throat and mouth, "EGBOK, EGBOK, EEEEEGGGBBOOOOOOKKK."
Welcome to World Tai Chi & Qigong Day !
What is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day? A Short Video History of this Global Phenomenon

So, how DO you get started?

Check out our FREE OnLine Lessons section to get a flavor of the many different styles that are out there for you to choose from. Then you'll want to find a local teacher or school. By now you know by now that Tai Chi and Qigong are one of the most powerful additions you can make to your life.
Finding a local class can be easy, by using the "Find Local Classes" feature in the above/right menu on most pages in this site (where hundreds of schools worldwide can and do list for free).

We offer free listings to any school in the world, and hundreds of schools and teachers in over 60 countries, and all 50 US states list there.

If you cannot find any classes in your local area, our official sponsor, SMART Tai Chi offers Online Video Instructional Lessons you can rent to preview, or order over your computer, with no shipping or waiting. You can get started there in minutes.

If you want a higher resolution video experience, SMART's DVD and BOOK section can get you started.

There is no reason to delay another day, in beginning the Tai Chi and Qigong journey that will lead to a whole new, clearer, brighter, more vibrant you.